April 25, 2007

Impressions

“So, ‘more blood’, huh?” Uncle Doctor gave me a hug and a wry grin.

“Tell me more about Ireland!” Aunt Bird exclaimed.

“Let me see that ring!”

This weekend was a reminder of why I enjoy having a blog, and how disconcerting it is to be quoted back to myself. Many of my aunts and their husbands read my blog, and even the ones who don’t, offer opinions on what names they want me to give them.

“I think I’d like to be Uncle Deerslayer”, Aunt Country Singer’s husband declared in his slow West Virginian drawl. Coming from a man who made sure his wedding date didn’t interfere with deer season, who am I to argue?

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Uncle Boy Scout Leader (aka Uncle BS Leader) is a wonderful storyteller and has helped shape the boys of Fowler, IN into fine upstanding men. “I’ve never had a scout quit on a hike. In fact, we were getting near the end of a 12-mile hike when one of the scouts started panting and lagging behind. I went back to give him a pep talk. ‘Listen, we can’t stop. We only have one and a half miles to go and you can do it. You just put your hand on your brother’s shoulder and he’ll pull you along. He’ll put his on the scout leader’s shoulder and pull him along. In the end, you’ll all make it. If you decide to quit, I’ll have to cut your throat and leave you here cause I’m not leaving a live scout on the trail.’ The kid made it. And he never forgot that hike!” Uncle BS Leader laughed.

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In many ways Grandma’s funeral was a celebration of her life. All her surviving children came, except her son (who has an iron-clad excuse). Most of her grandchildren and a few of the great-grand kids were there as well. Of my 27 first cousins, 21 of us made it to the funeral. We were all a bit freaked out to recognize the kids we played with lurking behind the faces of adults we’d never met. Yet, as always, the family is warm and welcoming. Almost every conversation jumps off the deep end.

One of the remarkable features of my Mom’s whole family is that, for bad or for good, everybody’s in and no one gets kicked out. No one cares if my husband isn’t white. No one does a cold shoulder if the couple isn’t married. Even if you’ve never met before, the greeting is a hug. And if the family is swimming in the hotel pool and you didn’t bring a suit? No worries. One of the aunts is sure to bring extras. Come on in, the water’s fine!

10 comments:

Rachel said...

I'm glad you were able to get together with the extended family, even though it was a sad occasion. They sound like wonderful people. But I guess if they weren't you couldn't really tell us here, eh? ;) Love the hiking story.

Inkling said...

I'm glad you're back. And I'm really glad you had a sweet visit with family. A family where you're always "in". I like that.

Beloved said...

Good family dynamics. I wish I could say the same for my mom's side of the family. When I go to one of their big family get- togethers, well let's just say I don't go often because it's so awkward and uncomfortable. They all seem to get along well together, but somehow I end up feeling like I fell from Mars. My cousin told me it was great that I married an Asian 'cause they're so, you know--smart. Whatever.

Snickollet said...

I'm glad you were able to connect with your extended family. They sound like a hoot.

Anonymous said...

A great -- and well deserved -- tribute to our extended family. It's well to remember how much of a blessing they are.

bg's Little Sis said...

Loved the post, so good to see that your humor runs in the family too! "come on in the waters fine"...that's my sisters and I..it's great isn't it.

Glad you were able to go and that it went so very well...hope the new job is a blast too, I haven't said anything on it, but it sounds GREAT! My husband is a huge gamer, so it's cool seeing you designing the stuff, I always see men's names, glad there's a woman representing in that area(I'm sure your not the only one, but the only one I know:))

Mama Nabi said...

...can I join your family? Would you be willing to adopt PN into your family? I need new in-laws.

What great family tidbits. Glad you were able to celebrate your grandma... *hug*

Melissa said...

Your family sounds great! I have a wonderful relationship with my mother's side of the family (they're quirky but always kind) and your description of some of your 'kin' really made me want to be home.

:)

Have a good weekend~

scarp said...

Hey - so, I did it. Totally on a whim this morning, I started my own blog. Thought you should know... and hopefully I'll end up being glad I did, like you have been. It's a bit frightening, tho.

And I still like your choice of words on this post ;)

Sunny said...

Scarp said "like your choice of words on this post" Me too. Especially "iron-clad excuse" LOL